BRUNSWICK — There could be an initial cost estimate for a new police station within as little as six weeks.
Town Manager Gary Brown said Tuesday that he’s negotiating a contract with Mike Ouellet of Ouellet Associates, the contractor chosen by the Police Station Subcommittee to build the new police station.
Brown said he didn’t want to speculate on the building’s price, but did say Ouellet agreed to do all pre-construction work for free – work that other contractors said would have cost between $12,000 and $18,000.
Once a contract is signed, Ouellet will begin working with architects Donham & Sweeney, who have already created four different renderings of the proposed building. Of the four options, the subcommittee preferred one with a small tower over the building’s entryway.
The plan will then go before the Town Council, which will have to approve a bond for the expense. Construction would begin after that, unless opponents wage another petition drive to reverse the decision. The council could also decide on its own to send the bond proposal to a public referendum.
“There’s the potential that some citizens that don’t agree with this project, assuming the council passes the bond ordinance, could petition the council to overturn the bond ordinance and take it to referendum,” Brown said.
That’s what happened in fall 2010, when a group of residents led by former Town Councilor Karen Klatt, attempted to overturn the council’s decision to buy land for a police station at the corner of Pleasant and Stanwood streets.
Rather than put the issue to a referendum, councilors agreed to back up. They formed a new subcommittee in December 2010, which reconsidered other locations in town before deciding to go with the original location.
John Donovan, who helped initiate the 2010 petition drive and now sits on the Police Station Subcommittee, said he hasn’t heard from anyone who previously opposed the site, and hopes the petition drive doesn’t have a second wind.
“I hope people now proceed to get the police station built with some alacrity and let the process go forward,” he said.
Although Donovan was never a fan of the proposed location, he said he has moved on.
“I’m a pragmatist and I don’t think we should waste any more time,” he said. “I think we should get on with the job in front of us.”
This article was changed on Feb. 16 to correct the spelling of Ouellet Associates.
The preferred design of the Brunswick Police Station Subcommittee. The view is from Pleasant Street.